|Resource Sharing with Samba|
Part 1 - Share files and printers between Windows and Linux / UNIX systems
An Article by your Guide Bradley Mitchell
A free software package, Samba enables network access to Linux and UNIX® file and print services. Samba's core functionality derives from its implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. SMB client- and server-side support comes bundled with Windows 95 and newer versions of Microsoft Windows. This large installed base has helped Samba grow in popularity...
How Samba Can Help
Samba can be utilized in several different ways. On an intranet or other private network, for example, one may use Samba to transfer files between a Linux server and Windows client. Anyone using Web servers running Apache and Linux may consider using Samba rather than FTP to manage Web site content remotely. Besides simple transfers, SMB clients can also perform remote file updates.
Samba proves helpful when working with Unix servers that aren't necessarily Web servers. Software engineers may develop on another platform but wish to use Unix printers, for example. Or, a Web server on another platform can function as an SMB client to remotely access data on a Unix fileserver as an alternative to copying that data locally.
How to Use Samba from Windows Clients
Windows users often map drives to share files between computers. With Samba services running on a Linux or Unix server, Windows users may take advantage of the same facilities to access those files or printers. Here are some ways to access Unix shares from Windows clients:
1. Browse Network Neighborhood to find the Unix hostname, then double-click on the host to reveal shares (directories).
Sharing data in the opposite direction works similarly. The Unix program smbclient supports browsing and connecting to Windows shares. For example, to connect to C$ on a Windows NT computer named louiswu, type the following at the Unix command prompt
smbclient \\\\louiswu\\c$ -U username
where username is a valid Windows NT account name. (Samba will prompt for an account password if necessary.)
Samba uses Universal Naming Convention (UNC) paths to refer to network hosts. Because Unix command shells normally interpret backslash characters in a special way, remember to type duplicate backslashes as shown above when working with Samba.
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